David Craft, Gothenburg Times


August 7 marks National Purple Heart Recognition Day where many honor those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. Those who served our country and were wounded by an instrument of war or killed in action receive the award which happens to be the oldest military honor in the world.

Our country is founded on a rich history of sacrifice as an estimated 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded since its inception. The Purple Heart for military merit has served to recognize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and because of them we are able to enjoy the freedoms we have today. 

According to the Department of Veterans' Affairs Director John Hilgert, "the 'Badge of Military Merit,' which the Purple Heart was known as when it was introduced by George Washington in 1782, is our nation's oldest medal." Hilgert commented on the importance of the recognition day saying "those who have served and those on active duty deserve our support and admiration for their willingness to sacrifice for our nation. Recipients of the Purple Heart have made those sacrifices. Our nation recognizes those combat-wounded veterans, and it is up to all of us to remember and honor their service."

Gothenburg is home to many veterans, some of which are Purple Heart recipients themselves. What they have done for our country and our community itself is immeasurable and their merit will be recognized far beyond the day of August 7.